WI: US government places an technology embargo on all internet related technologies in late 1980s

WI: US government places an technology embargo on all internet related technologies in late 1980s

Sometime in the late 1980s, the federal government of the United States took a stand to impose a complete ban on the export of any Internet-related technologies, for some ASB reason.

The private sector, academia and researchers were free to experiment, implement, and drive whatever progress they want with it, but they just can't export it. "Internet" traffic from other nations would also not be permitted.

What would this ATL look like? Would we see a large number of smaller, nationally-administered "Intranets" aligned along geopolitical boundaries? Where each major country maintain a completely independent internet ecosystem?
 
1. Can the economic sector use it? This would drastically impact stock exchanges and communication on market changes.

2. The US will fall behind as entrepreneurs create similar ideas in Europe or the USSR. At least on iteration is likely to achieve broad success and gradually outcompete the others (IMO).
 
Yes. Result would be similar to country with non-english languages. Independent "Internet" that separate and unconnected to outer world.

Technologically, it would be minimal. widespread tech stealing, separate patent regimes, and internet barrier would make any company cather to their own national community.
 
1. Can the economic sector use it? This would drastically impact stock exchanges and communication on market changes.

2. The US will fall behind as entrepreneurs create similar ideas in Europe or the USSR. At least on iteration is likely to achieve broad success and gradually outcompete the others (IMO).
In my ATL, I am working on the assumption that the private sector is able to freely use it and so are private individuals.

In fact, the government may make it mandatory for all citizens to have access to this 'super-internet'.
 
1. Can the economic sector use it? This would drastically impact stock exchanges and communication on market changes.

2. The US will fall behind as entrepreneurs create similar ideas in Europe or the USSR. At least on iteration is likely to achieve broad success and gradually outcompete the others (IMO).
In my ATL, I am working on the assumption that the private sector is able to freely use it and so are private individuals.

In fact, the government may make it mandatory for all citizens to have access to this 'super-internet'.
Yes. Result would be similar to country with non-english languages. Independent "Internet" that separate and unconnected to outer world.

Technologically, it would be minimal. widespread tech stealing, separate patent regimes, and internet barrier would make any company cather to their own national community.
Is Internet related tech relatively easy to reverse engineer? I honestly have no clue in this area.
 
Sometime in the late 1980s, the federal government of the United States took a stand to impose a complete ban on the export of any Internet-related technologies, for some ASB reason.
Well the NATO members of Western Europe simply relabel the stuff as defence network equipment, or more likely simply sell home made internet like equipment to the rest of the world?
 

Devvy

Donor
Completely impossible. Firstly, literally "internet" just means interconnected networks. In the early days there were several competing protocols and hardware solutions to achieve that. The former colonial empires had telegraph and communications systems already which spanned the globe. Computing technology was already outside the US and developing. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to put those two together no matter which country you're in.

The end result will be a set of regionalised using different protocols instead of a global TCP/IP system, which will hamper the US more than benefit it especially if it doesn't allow NATO allies access to it's technology.
 
WI: US government places an technology embargo on all internet related technologies in late 1980s
It would instantly be challenged in a torrent of lawsuits and, ASBs aside, such a ban would be overturned by the courts in short order.

But if ASBs are active, then we wouldn't be able to sell any computer or telecom hardware internationally, scientific collaboration would soon grind to a halt, every US company that manufactures computers would be unable to maintain or update hardware sold internationally, and in general we would become far less competitive as a nation in short order.

So if the ASBs want to destroy America as a leading nation, go wild.
 
Pretty easy. Bezos, Brin and some other names would be Quin, Tsching and similar and the USA would be a couple dozen million jobs and a couple dozen billion taxes shorter. Full desaster.
 
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